Nomiya : a floating table on the Parisian skyline
  • 25
  • Apr
  • 2010

Last year it was a hotel on the rooftop of Palais de Tokyo, this year it’s a restaurant

Text: Rooksana Hossenally  for Vingt

The Palais de Tokyo has teamed up with an unlikely partner to create Nomiya, a floating experience to be relished up close to the heavens amongst Paris’ unique skyline. Replacing the Everland hotel room, the previous project that sat on the Palais de Tokyo rooftop, the contemporary art museum has now turned to collaboration with Electrolux, the Swedish electrical appliances manufacturer, to give its visitors an exclusive slick and sophisticated restaurant concept.

Based on the tiny bars lining Japanese streets, hence its name, Nomiya is a small rectangular capsule with a table for twelve guests, designed to open the channels of communication between strangers. The floating restaurant melts into the Parisian skyline no matter the time of day: at lunchtime the capsule of glass and steel offers a bright, weightless atmosphere reflected in its white walls and clean minimalistic lines, adorned by great big bay windows letting Paris seep through the room. The views of the Quai Branly Museum and the Eiffel Tower are needless to say, breathtaking. The evenings are quite different: Nomiya is transformed as it is bathed in an almost fluorescent purple light. Its main feature becomes the Parisian nightscape dotted with tiny lights and of course, the Eiffel Tower shimmying in a sequin blazer as it watches over the French capital.
The unique piece of contemporary design was created by the artist Laurent Grasso and his brother architect, Pascal Grasso and opened last July. In the kitchen, Gilles Stassart, renowned for his experimental cuisine, oversees the innovative yet unpretentious creations presented with a quirky twist  -  radishes stuffed with foie gras, langoustine carpaccio doused in a sublime coconut and pickled ginger dressing, an osso bucco with polenta and white truffle…to say more would spoil the surprise.

Stassart elegantly combines fresh ingredients, all healthy of course if not all organic, with surprising flavours and garnish; the lunch menu is revised weekly and the dinner menu daily. The kitchen is also visible to the guests; everything from cooking, serving, to tasting happens in the one room. Guests are able to get up and move around to admire the 360° views of the capital, glass of champagne in hand, whilst stopping by to have a chat with the chef, his assistant, and the maître d’hôtel, who are also well-versed in the art of discretion for guests who prefer a little privacy. Despite Nomiya’s apparently cold appearance upon entering, the atmosphere soon warms as the staff greet the guests and the action begins in the kitchen. Soon enough the concept transpires through the guests who begin conversations across the table with total strangers; one cannot help but share the exceptional experience in such a contagiously intimate atmosphere.

To get to the restaurant guests cross the museum to the small green exterior garden, up the scaffolding and onto the rooftop. There sits the self-contained microcosm from which you can lay back and be mesmerised by Paris’ changing skies and passing clouds…time stands still in this stylish little white box of serenity…

Nomiya, also known as the project ‘Art Home’, is a temporary installation and will grace the Parisian skies until September. As part of the experience, and if guests choose so, there is also the possibility of participating in a two hour cooking workshop with Mr Stassart. Workshops take place from Tuesdays to Sundays from 12pm onwards (27 euros for lunchtime workshops, 45 euros for dinner workshops and 15 euros for children). Reservations for the restaurant are usually taken a month ahead, so planning your visit is essential (60 euros for lunch which includes a glass of champagne, 1/3 bottle of wine, mineral water, a starter, a main course, dessert and coffee; 80 euros for dinner including the same as the lunch menu but with cheese).  Nomiya is closed on Mondays.

Nomiya-Palais de Tokyo,13 avenue du Président Wilson,75016 Paris


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